Thursday, March 29, 2012


It's been years, decades actually, since the last time I'd been to the McFarland
grave at Mt Benedict. I couldn't remember exactly how many names there
were on the gravestone. I knew my great grandparents' names were on it, along
with my grandaunt Winnie who'd never married and my grandmother Agnes
under her married name Agnes White. Other than that, I didn't know if the
names of the children who'd died in infancy were on the stone nor if they
were even buried there. As you could see from the my cousin Chris Markunas
sent, it was only the four names I remembered.

The Interment Record showed that some but not all of the children were
indeed buried there:

Great Grandfather John McFarland purchased the plot on 23 Aug 1886. At
that time the bodies of children Catherine and John must have been brought
from wherever they'd been previously buried since they had died before the
purchase of the plot. Over the years children Annie, Edward, Sarah and George
joined them in grave #1120. Great grandfather John died in 1923 and great
grandmother Annie in 1945. They are buried in grave 1122. Adult daughters
Winifred and Agnes(my grandmother) lie in grave 1123.

But there are two other adults named on the Interment Record, and while
names themselves were family names, I had no idea who these two men
were. The first was Frank McFarland who was interred on the date the
lot was purchased, 23Aug 1886 at age 31. The second was another John
McFarland  age 26, interred on 24May 1888. Obviously they were related
to my great grandfather but the question was how?

Using the ages and interment dates I searched both Ancestry and FamilySearch
and found the death records for both. These images are from FamilySearch's
Massachusetts Deaths 1841-1915 Collection:

Frank's parents' names are listed as Michael and Dorothy, the same as my great
grandfather. More importantly, his place of residence is given as 37 Coventry
St.. That is where my great grandparents were living when their children Catharine
and John died. I think it's safe to believe that this Frank McFarland was my great
grandfather's brother.

John's parents are Michael and Mary. He was nearly ten years younger than my
great grandfather and not living with him, but he is buried in the family plot, so
I'm guessing he's a nephew or cousin.

Both men died suddenly. John died at Boston City Hospital as the result of an
accident. Frank was killed by the "caving in of an embankment " on Western Ave.
in Boston. I'll have to see if I can find a newspaper account of their deaths.

To be continued....

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